Oct 10, 2012

Photo taken by Evelyn Zeng

Carlos is a Langara international student in his first year of studies in the Commerce program. He is planning to transfer to UBC when he completes the University Transfer program. 

1.      Can you describe your life as an international student?

For most of my life I lived and studied in Jakarta, Indonesia. I, however, am Filipino, so I was an international student in Indonesia. Fitting into a new culture was hard, but also a fun experience for me. I got to make new Indonesian friends where they taught me about the food, places to go and most importantly, the language.

Moving into Vancouver, I, again, am an international student and I face the challenge of trying to adjust to the new culture. However, because the first language spoken in Vancouver is English, it is easier for me to adjust here compared to adjusting in Indonesia where English is not the first language spoken. Moving to Vancouver, I also now live without my parents, which leads me to become more independent. Again, it is a hard adjustment but something that would lead to my personal growth.

Overall, being an international student carries some challenges, but looking past those challenges and solving them is an experience to have fun with and to learn from.

  2.      What did you like most about being an international student in Indonesia?

What I liked most about being in Indonesia was the different people I met and the things my friends were able to show me around Indonesia such as the food and the places to go to.

  3.      What do you like most about being an international student in Vancouver?

In Vancouver there are many things to do. Aside from meeting new people, during the winter I tried snowboarding which I could not do in Indonesia. This was new to me and I had so much fun trying to learn it. The food and the places to go to is still amazing to me.

  4.      What is the biggest difference you noticed being an international student in Indonesia and in Vancouver?

The biggest difference I noticed would be the multiculturalism. In Indonesia most of my friends are Indonesian, whereas in Vancouver, the friends I make are all from different countries. Other than this, another big difference would be the change in weather. For example, in Indonesia it was hot all throughout the year while in Vancouver, I experience four seasons.

  5.      What did you do in your free time when you were in Indonesia? What do you do in Vancouver?

In Indonesia I played sports such as soccer, basketball, and ping-pong. Other than that I like to go out with some friends. In Vancouver, I still play soccer and go around town.

  6.      What is the biggest challenge you faced when you moved from Indonesia to Vancouver?

The biggest challenge I faced would be that Vancouver has a different culture compared to Indonesia. So I really had to adjust myself to the new environment and the new people around.

  7.      Do you still have some challenges you need to overcome?

 Yes, I still have trouble trying to fit in, trying to talk to new people, and sometimes trying to get around Vancouver.

  8.      Share any suggestions you have for international students who want to adapt to a new environment quickly.

Honestly, adjusting to a new environment will not be quick. My personal suggestion is to try and have fun during this adjustment because that is what I feel is most important. Meet new people and try new things, and that way adjustment can come easily. If you learn how to do this, you can teach others, such as your new friends coming to Vancouver, how to adjust better as well.

Article written by Evelyn Zeng